Monday, 7 May 2018

A poem by Wanda Deglane

They Tell You It Gets Easier

How do I ease your worried mind?

My father, he tells me I’m okay now.
He says, It’s been years. He says,
What more could you possibly get out
of these pills? Of endless therapy?

But my mother is persistent now. Every day
without fail, she asks me, Did you take
your medication?
When visiting family,
she says, She’s just been sick, that’s all.
She’s getting better.
And my aunts and
uncles ask, Oh, sick with what? My parents
glance at one another with tight, thin lips,
and take another drink.

How do I soothe your worry lines?

My father scours my room with
extinguished eyes. He finds clothes strewn
about the floor, my sleeping body littered
on my bed for the past few days now. How
do you live like this?
he screams, almost in pain.
Are you some kind of pig? Aren’t you ashamed?
And his poor pig daughter, I sit up, bleary-eyed,
confused and stare at him until he finally, finally
gives up on me.

How can I make everything alright again?
How do I stop you from looking at me
like I’m withering away, from searching for me
like I’m already dead?

My mother, she calls me one afternoon in
the middle of the week, and nearly chokes on her
own relief when I answer the phone. Oh, oh, gracias
a Dios, gracias a Dios, she cries. What is it, Mom?
What happened? Are you okay?
She’s sobbing
into the phone now, says, Nothing, hijita, everything is fine.
I just had a feeling, the worst feeling, I was so scared.
But everything is okay now.
I hang up minutes later,
and step back from the open window. My mother
wipes away her tears and wonders to herself
if it is finally time to stop hiding the kitchen knives.

She decides against it, locks them away yet another night.

Wanda Deglane is a psychology/family & human development student at Arizona State University. Her poetry has been published or forthcoming on Dodging the Rain, Rust + Moth, Anti-Heroin Chic, and elsewhere. She writes to survive. Wanda is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants, and lives with her giant family and beloved dog, Princess Leia, in Glendale, Arizona.


  1. If love is not the right word for my response to this poem then respect must be.

  2. So honest, so real.